Tips to Manage Your Diabetes with Proper Diet
Aside from conscientiously taking your medications, one of the best ways to manage diabetes is to follow a proper diet. However, it can be difficult to stay committed, especially if you’re newly diagnosed or simply aren’t used to dieting.
To help you stay on track, here are some tips that may help you follow a diabetes diet:
Keep Track and Stay Accountable
If this is your first time following a very specific diet, you may not be as confident in your own capabilities to follow a diet plan. If so, you may want to enlist the help of someone you trust to keep you accountable. Ask a friend or a family member to send you messages every day to remind you of your eating plan and “report” to them that you’re diet is going as planned.
Of course, this entails honesty. So again, make sure you pick a person you trust. It would be ideal if they also have diabetes, as they would be in a better position to empathize; they can also share their own experiences with their diets. That said, it’s definitely not necessary.
It’s also helpful to take notes and record your progress. Seeing how far you’ve come can help motivate you to continue.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
What some people get wrong about diabetes diets is that it’s about cutting off foods completely. However, the focus of diabetes diets is actually proper nutrition. Thus, you don’t have to completely cut off eating sweets or other “forbidden” foods for diabetics. In fact, you may end up making your cravings worse and feeling more miserable about your situation if you deprive yourself.
The key to blood sugar control moderation. Have the occasional treat in small amounts and take note of how much you’re having each time.
Try Nutrient Counting Instead of Calorie Counting
It can be difficult to keep up with calorie counting. If you aren’t used to it, it may feel cumbersome. A better alternative may be nutrient counting. Again, diabetes diets are all about getting the proper nutrition so make an effort to balance your meals with vitamins, minerals, protein, good carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
For the recommended amounts for each food group, consult your doctor. Different people will definitely have different nutritional requirements because not all cases of diabetes are the same.
Don’t Forget Your Satisfaction
When people think about diabetes diets, or diets in general, they think about limits: what they CAN’T eat instead of what they still CAN. This way of thinking simply isn’t sustainable; it can also make you more resistant to dieting, which will certainly work against your goals of losing weight and lowering your blood sugar levels.
Thus, you need to think about how you can still enjoy eating while dieting. Consider your satisfaction AND your satiety. When you’re satisfied after eating instead of simply being full for the sake of it, you’ll have an easier time committing to your diet. Try looking for cooking tips online or ask a certified nutritionist for some techniques to make your diet more appealing.
Plan Before You Eat Out
When you go to a restaurant, you rarely have any control over what you’re going to eat. What’s more, it’s literally the job of dining establishments to make you want to eat more. When you add good company to this equation, it’s going to be doubly hard to maintain a diabetes-friendly diet.
To make things more manageable and to ensure you won’t stray from your diet, develop a plan before you eat out. The best thing to do is to have a healthy snack before you go. Some examples include almonds, vegetable sticks dipped in hummus, popcorn (NOT the microwavable ones!), or even hard-boiled eggs. You should also research the menu prior and see which ones are the most suitable for your diet.
During the meal, it’s best to take your time with your food. It’s tempting to order more, especially when everything looks and tastes great; however, eating slowly and savoring your meal can make you feel full for a smaller amount of food. It’s also likely that you’re going to feel more satisfied afterwards. When push comes to shove, drink more water; if available, ask for an infused one for a bit of flavor.
Prepare Your Own Meals
Last but certainly not least, sticking to your diabetes diet will be easier if you prepare your own meals. You’ll be in control this way, not just in terms of portions but also in terms of the ingredients you’re using. What’s more, if you have meals ready whenever you need to eat, you lessen the risk of you craving something unhealthy.
If you aren’t a good cook or perhaps you’re a little too pressed for time to plan and prepare your food, look for a healthy meal delivery service. There are plenty to choose from nowadays, just do your research so you can save some money. Of course, don’t forget to ask your doctor for some advice.
Hopefully, these tips can help you stick to your diabetes diet and maintain your good health despite your condition. Good luck!
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